OK, so stories about alien abductions and near-death experiences aren’t as popular now as they once were, but they are, by no means, a dead issue, either, thus they are still part of the popular-cultural landscape. And I’m commenting on these stories as part of popular culture because, as there is no tangible evidence to suggest any of them are true–and one of the people who told one of these stories admitted the story wasn’t true–they are merely part of popular culture
Others have commented on this, and I will add my own voice to the chorus: Stories about alien abductions and near-death experiences sound awfully similar to each other. From what I’ve heard of either kind of story, the people who tell them merely parrot those who came before them, and/or are ripping off books, magazine articles, movies, TV shows, etc. The people who tell these stories are either: a) poorly educated, if at all; b) lonely, highly suggestible, and/or need to get out more; or c) shysters, especially if they’re making a shit-ton of money off of books, movies, etc.–unless they’re children, in which case they’re just being exploited.
Which brings me to the one person I mentioned in the first paragraph, who admitted his near-death-experience story was made up. This individual, a boy named Alex Malarkey, was in a car collision, which put him in a coma for several months; Alex is now a paraplegic because of the collision. Alex’s story of having gone to heaven has apparently made quite a bit of money, from book and movie deals, none of which has gone to Alex himself. Oh, I think I should mention, for those of you not in the know, that ‘malarkey,’ when not used as a family name (surname), is another synonym for ‘bullshit.’ And has anyone noticed that no one who has claimed to have had a near-death experience has ever claimed to have gone to hell? At least none that I’ve heard.
You know, I can play this game. I’ve never been abducted by aliens, or had a near-death experience (unless you count my mother’s having nearly miscarried me), but I could claim one or the other, or both, write a book, possibly make a movie deal, and with that pay off all of my debt and live high on the hog for the rest of my natural life–even if it came to light that I was never abducted by aliens or had a near-death experience, as there is a subset of credulous people who will deny the truth about my claims. All I have to do is parrot what everyone else is saying. The only thing stopping me is what I see every time I look in the mirror; principles matter more to me than money.
Unless and until cold, hard evidence–as opposed to post hoc rationalizations, arguments from: ignorance, incredulity, authority, popularity, or other logical fallacies–presents itself, I hold the position that anyone who writes and sells books, or makes movies, or otherwise makes money off of the alien-abduction or near-death-experience stories is either suggestible themselves or, unless children, con artists making money off of other people’s suggestibility.